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Par Presagis
Staff Blogger
06 avril 2022

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Those born in the ‘60s and ‘70s remember the impossible-to-fold, convenience store maps used for family trips or to get around a city. They might have been undetailed and two-dimensional, but they made the trips exciting in a “I’m not sure we’re on the right road” kind of way.

The introduction of GPS navigators, then smart phones with integrated GPS maps capable of showing streets in 3D, revolutionized driving and getting from A to B in the quickest way possible. Now many rely on 3D views to find an unknown address, understand surroundings, the landscape, or simply get oriented.

3D maps allow for the visualization of space in an intuitive and natural way...

The beauty and utility of 3D are certainly not limited to family road trips. 3D maps allow for the visualization of space in an intuitive and natural way, allowing for faster and more efficient decision-making and analysis in several fields including Defense & Security, Geo-Intelligence, Disaster Management & Emergency Response, Infrastructure Management, Smart Cities and Automotive and Autonomous Vehicles, among others. 3D environments are compelling to interpret everything spatial including aircraft trajectories, lines of sight, electro-magnetic signals, or dense urban environments.

Presagis’ VELOCITY 5D software allows for the rapid production of 3D maps, simulation-ready environments, and digital twins, making the leap from 2D to 3D simulation accessible to all. V5D turns massive amounts of GIS data into rich, multi-spectral environments. And in the near future, V5D will add pattern of life, CGF / crowds, traffic, interactions, and behaviors.

The superiority of 3D environments and maps:
  1. 3D maps offer more insight than their 2D counterparts.
  2. Research shows that 3D objects are more quickly interpreted by our brains than 2D objects¹: at first glance, map readers can take in and understand more details in 3D than in 2D, just as a model or a sculpture gives more information and a better understanding of the space than a drawing.
  3. 3D maps allow for a highly detailed visualization of space and show how objects relate to others in their surroundings, providing a higher degree of accuracy regarding sizes, heights, and distances. For example, 3D informs a user immediately whether a block is a bungalow or a skyscraper – which could make a major difference in one’s analysis and planning.
  4. 3D maps offer detailed perspectives of the environment that cannot be seen adequately from a 2D view such as obstacles, buildings, or mountains. Is the house behind a tree? Is there a fence or a crater? Is it at high altitude, on a slope or on flat land?
  5. With V5D, an important benefit of 3D maps is that a time component can be added to show patterns, trends, and anomalies, i.e., they can be programmed to offer a simulation of changes over time. This is useful to predict the consequences of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, erosion, and sea level increases, among others; traffic flows; electricity consumption grids; a mission’s environmental realities; air traffic patterns; urban development; and so much more.
  6. 3D mapping allows a representation of geographic areas based on other metrics as well, such as air or light pollution, population density, or employment statistics. Whether a project focuses on lower- or higher- income areas, or barriers must be added for neighbourhoods faced with too much noise, 3D mapping can guide the decision-making process.
3D maps can be used in a wide range of areas:
  • Simulators: vehicle, aircraft and marine
  • Defense & Security: mission planning and operational readiness
  • Geo-Intelligence: analysis of geographical/human data
  • Disaster Management & Emergency Response: planning, decision making and “what if” scenarios
  • Infrastructure Management: urban planning, power grids, sewer systems, etc.
  • Smart Cities and Automotive & Autonomous Vehicles: traffic lights, bus stops, cameras, etc.
3D mapping: how it’s done

Typically, a 3D map is created using a sophisticated software capable of transforming 2D data into 3D. This data could be in the form of coordinates or airplane or satellite imagery. The most accurate 3D maps use a combination of aerial, satellite photogrammetry, and height/value data. A software such as V5D is able to generate 3D maps from a very wide range of data inputs and sources.

3D mapping provides a window to represent and navigate convoluted datasets and concepts...

In the last several years, drones or other low flying aircraft equipped with a LiDAR sensor can generate point clouds which are translated into very accurate 3D maps of areas of interest (i.e., buildings, city blocks, city infrastructure, etc.).


3D mapping provides a window to represent and navigate convoluted datasets and concepts, bringing significant added value to analysis and decision-making. This gives professionals and stakeholders across industries an edge in terms of quality and efficiency of decisions and strategies. A mainstay of 3D maps is that they provide analytical data that – through simulation -- can be used to help predict outcomes and make evidence-based decisions.


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Building a Digital Twin?

Building a Digital Twin?

Use VELOCITY 5D for the rapid creation, updating/enhancing and automation of large-scale 3D virtual environments – with or without your own data.